I was thinking the other day that in October it will be 5 years since our Lord called me here to serve you with His Word and Sacraments. What a blessing it is to be here. It was a big change when I went to the seminary, a big change when I was placed for vicarage and then called to serve in Dallas, TX, and then another big change to be called to serve here.
And for you the last 5 years have also been full of changes and transitions. A new pastor; your long-time pastor, Rev. Stuenkel, shifting to part-time work here and now fully retired from the Ministry of Word and Sacrament; a thorough rewrite of our Constitution and Bylaws; diligent work by a Master Planning Committee to determine what’s next in terms of facilities; careful work by a Building Committee in bringing the master plan to reality; dear family in Christ called away to other parts of the country; dear friends in Christ who now rest from their labors in Him; the joyful offering of our Lord’s Supper each week on Sunday and Wednesday, for the benefit of His people.
This reflection on my part has been prompted by two significant things approaching in our life together. The first is our August 27th Voters’ Meeting. At this meeting the Building Committee plans to bring a recommendation of contractor bids for approval, in order to begin construction of significant new facilities here. You can read more about this in the note from Gary Clack, Chairman of the Building Committee. The second is the discussion we’ll be having in the fall and winter as to whether or not to pursue calling a second pastor here at Good Shepherd. This conversation will begin with the Board of Elders and then will move to the congregation in general.
My calling here among you is to be the one who says “Thus says the Lord.” Please allow me, then, to encourage you from the Scripture with the sure and certain promises that our Lord gives, that He doesn’t leave us alone and is always with us, caring for us.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful…” (2 Timothy 2:13)
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
God bless you all in Christ Jesus, our Lord,